5am on the Sunday morning when your intrepid reporter rose to head to the National Hockey Stadium to watch/support the GCW Ladies 2s in their Dostrict Plate Final against Glasgow Accies. Little was known about the opposition as they were allowed to play their semi final at a venue closer to home. However we did have a little knowledge as past GCW players Fiona Crowe and Lisa Pascoe are playing for the Glasgow side.
I am sure most of you have seen the game on you tube so a blow by blow account may seem a little over the top. The game staretd and both sides looked nervous. The first 15 minutes of the match however saw the Glasgow side edge it as maybe the early start plus nerves were clearly taking its toll on the GCW girls.In 6 minutes however a break by Fiona Martin into the circle created a shooting opportunity but when she did not connect wit hthe ball the keeper dived out and also did not connect with the ball but contacted Fiona and the ball ran off the field of play. It could have been a penalty stroke but instead a sixteen was awarded.
Despite GCW being more in the game at this point they could not make their passes stronger and eventually paid the penalty when in 12 minutes along ball from the Accies 23 found its way through to Holly Belch outside the GCW 23. She collected and ran straight into the circle waited for the keeper to come and passed the ball into the net. This was hardly a fair representation of the game but it was a portent for what was to follow. The rest of the half was GCW pressing and facing a massed Accies defence.in 31 minutes Niamh Duthie broke away with the ball and was fouled just outside the circle. The resulting crash ball gave GCW a corner. Claire Sevenoaks struck the ball well but the keeper got down and saved as the ball came back into play the ball bounced about until an Accies player cleared it left. The GCW corner defensive team was caught too high and the ball found Belch behind Fay Bruce and again she ran into the circle and pushed the ball under the keeper for an undeserved lead of 2-0.And so it was at half time.
Could Phil Gaiter get his team out of their lethargy enough to force the game and pull back a 2 goal deficit was the main question as the second half began. GCW were certainly more decisive in this half this was emphasised by keeper Woodhams when in two minutes another long ball found an Accies forward free and driving into the circle. This time however Woodhams decided to come and take the ball and block any chance of a goal by sliding.
GCW began to mount a siege on the Accies defence only briefly broken by long hits up field from the Accies defenders. A firm ball into the circle from Ruth Paterson just lacked a touch at the back post from forwards Duthie and Wordie but the positivity was beginning to show. With Paterson and Greenhaugh now stopping most long balls the GCW side began to gain more control. It was at this point that Hannah Lawire decided to keep everyone in Aberdeen happy by a fine goal. Wordie broke down the right and turned back to reverse sweep the ball into the circle Hannah picked the ball from the air turned and fired a high sweep into the Accies net. The crowd went wild, well those of us from Up North did.
The rest of the game was GCW pressure and stout defending of their circle by Accies. The only clear chances that did come were a reverse stick strike from Jen Tait and A front stick shot from Hannah Lawrie but both met a defender’s stick in front of the keeper and were cleared. So the game ended in a 2-1 win for Accies. The game was certainly frustrating for the GCW girls but the early nerves was the difference between the teams in the end. At least Hannah’s goal was the goal of the game.